Keep the Fire Burning!

Coaching Tool-Kit

Why You Need Truth Tellers At Work

Interracial businesswomen working on laptop.Sally, an executive coaching client, was beaming. She had just done what had been hard for her in past. She had given her direct report feedback that was 80% focused on the positive, and only 20% on what needed to be improved. Sally can see improvement opportunities all around her, and that shows up in how she gives feedback. She had been working really hard to give balanced feedback that builds people up. She was buoyant from the conversation she had had. She genuinely felt great about helping her direct report feel good.

Until one week later.

She found out that the conversation had been very demotivating to her direct report.

Practices To Power Your Executive Coaching Process

The good news is you have an executive coach. The bad news is that the process of personal change and transformation is not easy. It requires a great deal of personal commitment on the part of the leader being coached. I’ve found in my work as an executive coach as well as my personal growth work, that most changes we are seeking on the outside (for example to get promoted to the next level, to have greater influence with peers, etc.) require significant changes within ourselves.

The role of the coach is to bring their skills to raise self-awareness, to challenge the leader’s paradigms, to share insight, and to hold accountability. Yet, the heavy lifting is done by the leader. The leader brings their courage to dig deeper to understand themselves, to see how they stand in their own way. They bring their openness to experimenting with new ways of being and behaving. They bring their commitment when the going gets tough.

In my experience, there are three tools the turbo-charge the impact of the coaching process. My ask is that you commit to practicing these tools during our coaching process. As you practice these tools, you create excellent leadership habits that will sustain the behavior change, and also help you continue to lead and grow – well beyond the coaching process.

Ten Questions for Your Leadership Journal

Teddy Roosevelt did it. Harry Truman did it. Want to be an outstanding leader? Keep a leadership journal. As part of my executive coaching work, one of the most effective tools I recommend that powers up the coaching process is a leadership journal. The exercise of leadership is not unlike a sport you play. When you review your actions in the field you learn what worked, what didn’t, and adjust along the way. Leadership guru Peter Drucker said: “ Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action. ”

There are many benefits to reflection.

The biggest benefit of keeping a leadership journal is to expand your self-awareness. Self-awareness of your strengths, your energizers, what challenges you, what can derail you is a key driver of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (the ability to know and manage yourself and others) is a key driver of success in leadership.

How To Hold Yourself Accountable to Coaching Goals

Behavior change is hard. I see this every day from personal experience, and the effort made by my executive coaching clients. During the course of the coaching engagement, my clients choose certain behaviors that they want to practice more of to grow in their leadership agility and help them achieve their coaching goals. They pick the smallest behavior changes that will help them create the biggest impact to empower their goals.

A great way for leaders to practice accountability is to make it a daily ritual. This practice is from Marshall Goldsmith’s best-selling book called Triggers. The #1 executive coach pays someone to call him every morning and ask him 32 questions that help him to be accountable to be the person he wants to be. I decided to give myself the challenge of asking myself ten accountability questions every morning.

Success on the most important goals we set for ourselves involve the long game – practices that we practice every day until they become habits, and eventually part of our very identity, so we can create lasting change. Here are the questions Marshall Goldsmith recommends.

How To Choose An Executive Coach

As an executive coach, during my first meeting with potential clients, I have found that most leaders don’t quite know the right questions to ask me. When evaluating fit, many people make the mistake of choosing someone that they feel most comfortable with. While chemistry and ease of connection is absolutely necessary, it is not a sufficient factor in selecting a coach. You want to get results in your coaching process. So, ask the right questions. Use the list of questions below to assess fit.

The HR Tool-Kit For Executive Coaching Success

This is a brief description of the tool-kit I have created with input from several HR colleagues at Fortune 500 companies. The tool-kit shares best practices to create an executive coaching program that has impact in your organization.

How Satisfied Are You with Your Executive Coaching Program?

Give your program a rating of 1 (not satisfied at all) to 10 (completely satisfied). Many HR leaders I talk with give their program a rating in the 5–7 range. In fact, according to The 2017 Workplace Learning Report published by LinkedIn, among 500 learning & development (L&D) professionals, less than 25% would be willing to recommend their L&D program to peers. If you find yourself less than 100% satisfied, you owe it to yourself to read this quick guide.

Purpose of this Guide

As an executive coach to senior leaders in Fortune 500 companies, my personal passion is to see these professionals grow into their potential to be transformational leaders. Transformational leaders innovate, inspire, influence, and impact results through the people they lead.

As an HR professional, I know you have that same commitment for growing your leaders. Yet, there are challenges in the process. The purpose of this guide is to help you create greater impact with the leaders in your organization, and to provide you with a simple set of tools to better influence outcomes in the process.

To Get An Executive Coach or Not? Eight Essential Questions

Should you get an executive coach or not? “Well, we don’t have enough money in the budget to do executive coaching, so perhaps a training program may work” I heard an HR colleague say recently. Executive coaching is a significant investment for organizations relative to other options to grow leaders. Organizations also offer less costly mentoring, training, and leadership programs. When is the right time to invest in executive coaching for yourself or someone on your team, and when will training or mentoring be enough?

Here are eight questions I advise my clients to ask themselves to decide whether executive coaching is the right option:

Seven Commitments Great Bosses Make to Empower Coaching

A big part of the success of any executive coaching engagement is the coachability of the leader being coached. The skills of a coach are important too in overcoming the resistance to change that comes up in any coaching engagement. One critical role that is often overlooked is the importance of the boss in empowering impact in coaching.

Often the boss is a busy person with lots of demands on their time and energy. Most likely, they have tried to coach the leader and have not gotten the results they were looking for, so they are happy to delegate this work to the coaching process. Sometimes, they may even be frustrated because they have tried to give feedback and change behaviors and it may not have had impact.

Yet, in the best coaching outcomes I have seen, the boss plays a pivotal role in impacting the outcome of coaching. In the ideal coaching process, the coach, the leader, and their boss are all partners in supporting the growth of the leader. Here are seven powerful commitments a great boss makes.

Stakeholder Centered Coaching

In my executive coaching experience, it truly takes a village to grow a leader. While it would be great to have a manager that is also a great coach, most managers today find themselves often without enough time, energy, or skills to do this effectively, and human potential is compromised.

Yet, there is a different way. This different way is called “Stakeholder Centered Coaching”. It is a process that has been proven by the #1 Leadership Coach, Marshall Goldsmith, to have a 95% success ratwith leaders. I use this methodology in my coaching and I can attest to the results. If you could have a virtually guaranteed way to improve your leadership effectiveness, would you use it? Here’s how this works:

Ten Ways Great Coaches Overcome Resistance to Change

“I just don’t know how to make this coaching stick” said a frustrated leader to me recently. He’s an executive coaching client and he is trying to coach a direct report to change his behavior.

His tone of voice reminded me of the frustration I had felt too often, when I was just not getting through to an executive coaching client. Coaching doesn’t work for many reasons. The coachability of a leader determines whether the coaching has impact.

The skill of the coach also has a significant impact. According to a 2017 LinkedIn report, learning how to coach others is the most important leadership priority for organizations today. As leaders and coaches for our people we need to grow our own skills to overcome the resistance to change in our coachees.

Ten Ways to Overcome Resistance

When your coaching is not getting the desired results, use the list below to diagnose what’s missing and make an impact. Coaching is not about pushing people to change their behaviors. It’s about partnering with them to help them do so.